UNITED NATIONS: A Viennese Compromise


At a small, private dinner last October, Austria's Ambassador to the United Nations, Kurt Waldheim, played host to Soviet Ambassador Yakov Malik and George Bush of the U.S. Rising for a toast, Malik ponderously wished Waldheim, who was campaigning hard for the secretary-generalship of the U.N., fulfillment of "all his wishes." That was as close to an open endorsement as any candidate could ask. Last week, on his 53rd birthday, Waldheim got his wish. He was elected over eleven other candidates to succeed the retiring U Thant.

Waldheim's election was the result of the nuanced realities of big-power politics. The...

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